Antitrust Consent Decrees in Theory and Practice: Why Less by Richard A. Epstein

By Richard A. Epstein

For over 100 years, the antitrust consent decree has been an important weapon within the federal enforcement of antitrust legislation. In Antitrust Consent Decrees in conception and Practice, Richard A. Epstein undertakes the 1st systematic learn in their use and effectiveness from either a ancient and analytical perspective.

Epstein observes how changes in antitrust philosophy can form the categories of finished settlements that the govt will search and the courts will provide. Epstein takes factor with competitive antitrust enforcement thoughts that search to take advantage of executive energy to essentially regulate buildings or the company practices of regulated businesses, in a few situations resulting in their breakup. to give an explanation for the perils of that technique, Epstein rigorously examines the historical past of consent decree litigation, culminating in targeted reviews of the AT&T breakup and the govt antitrust activities opposed to Microsoft.

Applying sleek theories of antitrust research, Epstein's critical thesis is that daring antitrust treatments that aren't tightly tied to a defensible idea of wrongful behavior usually end up counterproductive. Such measures generally strength agencies to undertake enterprise practices and structural reorganizations that considerably bog down their skill to compete successfully on the market. The disparate fates of AT&T and Microsoft are the results of an enormous and fruitful shift in wondering the use and boundaries at the antitrust legislation in a large choice of commercial contexts.

Antitrust Consent Decrees in concept and Practice should be of curiosity to any reader who's all for the bigger implications of the govt. law of legislations and enterprise. Epstein brings approximately 40 years of private wisdom and adventure to this subject. Written in a transparent and nontechnical type, this publication should still end up a useful source to any pupil of rules and financial coverage, in addition to attorneys and policymakers excited about antitrust litigation.

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Antitrust Consent Decrees in Theory and Practice: Why Less Is More

For over 100 years, the antitrust consent decree has been an important weapon within the federal enforcement of antitrust legislation. In Antitrust Consent Decrees in conception and perform, Richard A. Epstein undertakes the 1st systematic research in their use and effectiveness from either a old and analytical standpoint.

Extra resources for Antitrust Consent Decrees in Theory and Practice: Why Less Is More

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In a broader perspective, it seems unlikely that it had any significant negative effect. Other innovators emerged to develop supermarkets and to produce broad 24 ANTITRUST CONSENT DECREES IN THEORY AND PRACTICE lines of grocery products that achieved the efficiencies the packers sought through merger. There is no evidence that the decree caused inefficiency in any line of business. If anything, one can argue that by limiting the power of the largest enterprises in the food business, the decree may have created, at the margin, a less risky context for other, smaller firms to innovate and develop.

Combined, the two practices gave the vertical arrangement the appearance of sustaining a horizontal monopoly at the exhibitor level, a result that would be more difficult to defend if there had been no coordination in pricing at the producer level. In light of the evident antitrust violations, the key question was the remedy. The simple approach here called for an injunction against pricefixing agreements among the distributors and, more controversially, the restriction of downstream control by the producers.

But his opinion offered no explanation whether the offsets, once made, would account for the vast difference between the two rates. The more potent evidence was that virtually no one took the program licenses, even though there were many stations that did not adopt allmusic formats. In effect, a bit of methodological laxity in the Second Circuit allowed ASCAP a free pass on a tough issue. Judge Newman’s procedural point has much more bite. The most sensible way to view the matter is to displace future antitrust actions by resorting to the procedures set out in the 1950 amended final judgment (AFJ), which extended the 1941 ASCAP consent decree to television.

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